Ex-Block star not guilty of extortion

The Penthouse covergirl who renovated her way to TV celebrity before becoming an escort has been found not guilty of extorting money from a sex client.

Taylor and co-accused “enforcer” Ali Ebrahimi have been cleared on charges of extortion, deprivation of liberty, fraud and assault for attacking the man at an apartment in an inner-city Brisbane suburb in the early hours of October 30, 2019.

The Block star could not hold back tears as the decision was handed down.


After four days of evidence and the sacking of Ebrahimi’s legal team, the jury struggled for more 10 hours before finally reaching a verdict on Thursday afternoon.

They twice sought direction from Judge Suzanne Sheridan before handing down their decision on Thursday afternoon.

The jury rejected key testimony from “victim” David Butler who admitted on the stand that he had lied to police and the court.

The Brisbane District Court jury heard the former Block contestant posed as an escort called Katie on the raunchy website Scarlet Blue when she agreed to meet Mr Butler.

The pair agreed to a sum of $250 for half an hour of Katie’s time, and the hospitality worker texted Katie directly, urging her to “dress sexy”, preferably in something tight and black with high heels.

He arrived at the New Farm apartment armed with a bottle of champagne and red wine.

The couple relaxed over drinks, but when the 30 minutes became an hour, then two, Taylor started getting text messages from Ebrahimi saying: “Get paid if you haven’t”.

Mr Butler claimed Taylor invited him into her bedroom, kissed him and took off her shirt before saying: “If you want this to continue and go any further, you have to give me some money”.

The night ended with Mr Butler claiming he had tied up and held against his will, and Ebrahimi, 24, acting as enforcer, the prosecution alleged.

Ebrahimi stormed into the bedroom, grabbed Mr Butler by the throat before punching and kicking him, he claimed.

Mr Butler’s hands were fastened tightly behind his back, and he claimed to have been repeatedly assaulted by Taylor and Ebrahimi over several hours.

They allegedly took his wallet and phone, demanding access to bank accounts to transfer cash to their accounts.

The court heard Ebrahimi withdrew money from a nearby automatic teller machine using Mr Butler’s bank card.

In key testimony, Mr Butler admitted lying police and the court, claiming he didn’t know Taylor was an escort, deleting messages and claiming he and the Block star had been chatting for weeks over a dating site.

The prosecution conceded Mr Butler was “simply unwilling to be upfront and forthcoming that he went to pay for an escort service” because he was embarrassed and ashamed.

The verdict is the latest scandal to plague the bubbly contestant for the 2015 season of The Block.

Since winning almost $350,000 with partner Yvonne Cosier on season 11 of the reality show, Taylor has been embroiled in scandal and arrest.

Taylor pleaded guilty to fraud and theft charges in May 2019 after being caught using a credit card stolen from a patient recovering at a Brisbane hospital to buy alcohol.

She also still has matters before the courts after being repeatedly arrested for breaching strict bail conditions.

© AAP 2021